Commander Craig Speer is a native of Leroy, Minnesota, Commander Speer joined the Navy as an Airman Apprentice in January 1988 and attended Basic Training at Great Lakes, with follow on training at Aviation Ordnance “A” School in Millington Tennessee, Aircrew School in Pensacola FL and P-3C FRAMP in Jacksonville FL. Commander Speer’s enlisted duty assignments included tours with VP-44 Golden Pelicans, VP-8 Tigers, Naval Air Station Brunswick Weapons Department and USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT (CVN 71).
In January 1996, Commander Speer was accepted into the Enlisted Commissioning Program (ECP). He attended Norfolk State University where he earned a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies and was commissioned in July 1997. He was designated a Naval Aviator in January 1999.
After completing H-46D fleet replacement pilot training, he reported to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SIX (HC-6) in Norfolk flying the venerable Sea Knight. While there, he deployed in USS SEATTLE (AOE 3) and USS SUPPLY (AOE 6), attained 1,000 hours in the CH-46D Sea Knight, and served as Logs and Records Officer, Aviation Safety Officer and Detachment Assistant Officer in Charge.
Upon completion of his first tour, Commander Speer reported to Naval Air Station Brunswick Search and Rescue where he flew the UH-1N Huey and served as the Maintenance and Safety Officer and NAS Brunswick Administrative Officer. Additionally, Commander Speer completed an Individual Augmentee assignment with Joint Task Force Seven (JTF-7), US Army Civil Affairs, as a Battle Captain.
March 2006, Commander Speer reported aboard USS CARL VINSON (CVN 70) as a Shooter, as well as the V-3 Division Officer and Air Department Training Officer.
Commander Speer reported to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO in Norfolk for refresher training in the MH-60S in September 2008. He completed his Department Head tour at Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron TWO TWO (HSC-22) in Norfolk where he served as Training Officer and Operations Officer. While there, he deployed in USS BATAAN (LHD 5) as Officer-in-Charge in response to the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, OPERATION UNIFIED RESPONSE.
Following his Department Head Tour, Commander Speer reported to the Naval War College where he earned a Master of Science in Strategic Studies and completed Joint Professional Military Education Phase I in November 2012.
Commander Speer served with Naval Support Activity Lakehurst New Jersey December 2012 to January 2016 as the Staff Liaison Officer for Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL).
Returning to Sea duty, Commander Speer reported to Expeditionary Strike Group TWO (ESG 2) Virginia Beach, Virginia where he served as an Operations Planner / Operations Officer from February 2016 to May 2018.
Commander Speer reported to Naval Support Activity Lakehurst New Jersey in June 2018 and currently serves as the Executive Officer.
His personal awards include the Joint Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal and various unit and campaign decorations.